Teachers are once again under fire, this…

Teachers are once again under fire, this time in Tennessee.  Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed off on House Bill 130 and Senate Bill 113, giving state boards control of schools and ending collective bargaining.  That’s right teachers, even though you spend your entire lives inside the classroom with the kids, you now have zero say in what goes on.  You actually have less rights under this bill than a migrant worker.  But it’s okay, because your job is meaningless.  You only have to bend to the whim of school boards (who rarely step foot inside the institutions they claim to advocate for).  You only have to take flack for not taking more of a interest in the students (ie, you are not acting as a parent), and when you do, you are considered nothing more than a glorified babysitter.  You spend hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars each year of your own money to make up for the deficits in the classroom supplies.  Your job is considered worthless because you serve the weak and poor.  But it’s okay, educators.  I have a plan.

Quit.

I taught for seven years as an artist educator.  I worked for three of the longest running educational programs in America, and in the hardest areas (residential treatment centers and partial hospitalization programs for the severely mentally and behaviorally ill).  I’ve bought supplies when the school had none.  I’ve watched kids come to school 4 days in a row in the same shirt, the same smudge of dirt on the sleeve.  I’ve broken the rules and driven kids home when no parent came to pick them up.  I’ll bet most of you have as well.  I bet it broke your heart.  So, quit.

The corporate world is so much easier, folks.  Your skills in communication, multitasking, and group dynamics will easily transfer over.  You will work far less hours for far more pay.  No office will ever ask you to purchase your own paper or toner – someone buys that for you!  Heck, you will even get an entire half hour a day for lunch, usually at a real table and chairs, not standing around a playground watching the students or furiously grading papers.  People will actually respect your job, whatever it is, because it feeds into the capitalist structure, and as we all know when you create money you have worth.  You’re no longer wasting your time with people who can’t vote or lobby Congress. Children don’t have money to contribute to campaigns; children are  worthless to politicians, and they should be worthless to you.

You may be worried about what will happen to your students.  Don’t worry – all the people who screeched about how poorly you did your job for the tons of money you got will take care of them.  They seem to know more about education than you do, they can step right in and work.  We’re in a recession, I bet they would love the job!  Let them be the verbal punching bag for every ill in the world.  Let them act as parent to those own parents either aren’t there, or don’t actually care about them.  Let them work through nights, weekends, and vacations preparing for the classroom.  Let them spend thousands every year on additional certification courses and supplies.  Let them be seen as worthless because they choose to care for children.

I’m sure those kids will be just fine.

…Right?